The thread increasingly surrounded by darkness Riding out the winter (decline) of industrial civilization


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Battle of the X-planes

Would make a great fiction drama—film

Justifying the need to upgrade weapons

Visiting that giant kiln for its acoustic properties. The closing of the door—the end of the tube plus all the alarms and activity. Slowly sealing shut.

Lockheed’s computer automated milling machine at work—world’s largest—the pink liquid squirting—long real time piece. The Titanium Plate.
The best engineers in the world are building weapons.

They could build race planes says Eric. At least its not destructive.

The movement of the rear exhaust port—the F-35. Like a sophisticated alien warship from the future—unnatural movement. Precise—computer controlled—totally science fiction
German Bunkers opening up—east Berlin
Forever Dolphin Love and the slaughter of the (magic) pink Amazon River Dolphin.

So I didn’t get this grant. I wasn’t even in the top three. Consequently this two-wheeler ain’t going anywhere any time soon. I’ll continue to make work here in San Jose. And post it here as long as is seems appropriate to share using the medium of the internet.

Mostly work produced on travels within the state.
Haunted by an owl spirit—the gods don’t go easy on you.

The girl with the owl tattoo. What if she talked her out of it? The owl at boneyard. Was that a friendly encounter or another warning? In the Owl House so to speak.

Sending a
Trust the path you’re on.

Everything happens for a reason—maybe you were guided into taking mostly video.

All gotta be
Tattooed bike girl—owl on chest

Owl context – sandwich board outside passé.

Owl hat in Santa Barbara.

Owl ring on bus

Owl print shirt
Jesus died for you sins.

Time for a resurrection.

But if your sins can be washed away—why would you change your tune?

What if the owl spirit is responsible for all three?

Jess—the owl haunting has continued. In a manner that is hard to ignore and quite disconcerting. Can you try and determine what the owl in this piece is trying to tell me? I need to know.
Sana Ana River—3.16.10 – no.4—export 2

LA River—with alex—zoo images—4.16.09—stills only

Californa Aqueduct—export 2

Central Arizona project—outside phoenix?

Look for canal image long beach day?—stills only

Thansgiving dry drainage?

Los Gatos Creek

Rigid and flexible on resurrection day

Rigid Resurrection
Are you scared you’ll die?—remove
Terry—I can’t thank you enough for the visit. The experience recovered a day that had sent morale into a nosedive.
The footage looks really good, especially the clips from the C-5 cluster. I’ve got a rough cut done already. I’ll send a link to the final when it’s done.
Thanks again.

The Squadron Reanimated
Begin with animated parts—close ups—before takeoff. Then they fly along, introducing the characters one at a time—smallest of the group to the largest. Pneumatic system—opens the doors—releases the cargo. Then is the golden reflection a flash from the result of the release or the sun? Then the bay doors open, something is released, and the fleet flies off into the sunset. The owl seems in command of the whole operation. He gives the release order

Ways to reinforce the narrative—

Faster editing in the final sequence—the action bumps up. The swoop/pass then the drop. Then the bright flash and the owl watches the aftermath/sunset.

The Fleet Reanimated: A sanctioned visit to the military's repository for disused aircraft

I made a return trip to Tucson last week to photograph the AMARG. Vignette forthcoming.
This apparition appears in your doorway every afternoon. Enjoy the magic.
The cutting off the wings—the owl/the B-52
Industrial flow bonus—audio recording of river creek sound. If it can’t be incorporated as an alternative audio track.
The title should refer to the journey the water makes, the implied transition through the mountain—then down the spillway. Here’s a hint for the viewer. Out of the underworld.
Above all to be my authentic self.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing—your hair flares out like the rabid animal’s tattered ears. The black wool/the grey wool.

Rigid Resurrection.

Shot form a suburban roof on Easter Sunday. Crosses.

discordant drainage
Styx—mythical river, greek, formed the boundary between earth and the underworld.
Pronounced (lee-thee), in greek mythology the river flows through the plain of __. Past the final resting spot of the virtuous.

Also goes well with ‘Reka’ and ‘Cryptomnesia’.

Follow the River of Oblivion through underworld.

literally means "oblivion", "forgetfulness," or "concealment"

the Lethe flowed around the cave of Hypnos and through the Underworld, where all those who drank from it experienced complete forgetfulness.
Ameles potamos (river of unmindfulness)
The rivers Styx, Phlegethon, Acheron, and Cocytus all converge at the center of the underworld on a great marsh, which is also sometimes called the Styx. The other important rivers of the underworld are Lethe and Eridanos, and Alpheus.

Lethe (lee-thee), the river of forgetfulness, was one of the five rivers of the Greek underworld, the other four being Styx (the river of hate), Akheron (the river of sorrow), Kokytos (the river of lamentation) and Phlegethon (the river of fire). According to Statius, it bordered Elysium, the final resting place of the virtuous. Ovid wrote that the river flowed through the cave of Hypnos, god of sleep, where its murmuring would induce drowsiness.

The River Lethe flowed through the plain of Lethe in Hades. Also known as the Ameles potamos (river of unmindfulness), the river flowed around the cave of Hypnos where its murmuring induces drowsiness. The shades of the dead were required to drink from its water in order to forget their earthly life. In the Aeneid, Virgil writes that it is only when the dead have had their memories erased by the Lethe that they may be reincarnated. Poets frequently use Lethe as a metaphor for the underworld in general.
"Near the Cimmerii a cavern lies deep in the hollow of a mountainside, the home

and sanctuary of lazy Somnus, where Phoebus’ beams can never reach at morn or

noon or eve, but cloudy vapours rise in doubtful twilight ... there silence dwells: only

the lazy stream of Lethe 'neath the rock with whisper low o'er pebbly shallows trickling

lulls to sleep. Before the cavern's mouth lush poppies grow and countless herbs, from

whose bland essences a drowsy infusion dewy Nox distils and sprinkles sleep across

the darkening world."
-- Ovid, Metamorphoses
Going with the [industrial] flow.
The names of the waterways come in at the end like a cast of performers.
Paula via Mythodrome

Most of us are probably used to seeing growth and decline represented as a bell curve that goes up, then back down. But it is equally valid to flip that graph upside down, and view growth and decline rather as a descent and subsequent ascent. This would certainly have been the perception of the ancient proto-Hebrews, recorders of the Genesis “Fall” narrative, who observed the advent of farming, understood its corruption and wanted nothing whatever to do with it. The spread of cities and the rise of empires were, to them, a great tragedy.

From this upside-down perspective, the growth of civilization is evident in the underworld descent phase of the resurrection myths. Our progress, which we envision as proceeding upward, is actually a sharp downward motion — a “fall,” if you will. We have built for ourselves an underworld of death separate from the life — i.e., normality — going on above us.
And just as the divine protagonists’ descent into the underworld was an anomaly of a limited duration, so too is civilization’s reign over the natural world an anomaly of limited duration. It can and will end because it has to. It is simply not sustainable in any fashion.
Often this industrial river literally goes underdground—siphon.
Los Gatos creek waterfall with twin platforms—another nice spot along the route. Both dams are good as well.
Sometimes light and shadow are enough.

Pair the light in the room with the light on the pines from stage one and the light inside the watertower piece. Needs some better audio maybe.

Skaters using abandoned warehouse concrete forms alongside train route—Martinez area.
Always look younger than your age:

Get enough sleep, but don’t sleep on your face.

Three products—exfoliating cleanser, masque, moisturizer with low SPF.

Spend time each day inverted

Don’t stress

Keep your sex drive up but your testosterone levels in check

Kale, kelp, and carrots

Once the restrictions and taboos of civilization are removed, the watchful eye of one’s fellow citizens—as is the case when one steps into a feral space, a repressed sexual energy quickly comes to the surface, demonstrating the extent to which it’s held back under normal circumstances within the urban environment. A scrap of pornography that’s laid, decomposing in the muck all winter, provides a spark and the urge to masturbate. A 13-year old exploring forbidden territory, a ditch near the home, an abandoned structure. He escapes momentarily from the prison that contains him.

The Fleet Reanimated: A Final Mission

End titles:
April 20, 2011

special thanks to Terry and the 309th AMARG

Lacking a reward system, lacking a support system.
“Yeah I read that article in the Enterprise—I thought he was homeless.”

Not sure how to interpret that dude. Need more information.

People have begun using the internet to find other members of their tribe.
Kickstarter for Castration program. Raise funds to cover vasectomy surgery(s).
What to do with those removed stickers from the fridge in the garage? They still have some stick.
Polishing a plastic platinum debit card.
Email John Edwards—

This is this kind of thing I’m most particularly adept as shooting. It should be noted that there’s often news surrounding such places.

Get out of the daily stuff—larger ideas. Pieces that unfold a bit more slowly.
An ambitions young journalist.
Pelted with ice on the Dancefloor, friends of Ann.
A euphoric event

An incredible full body flush—without the fear of loosing consciousness.

Twice, occurring less fully the second time. Related to a headrush.
a euphoric event among friends.
Share a euphoric moment with friends
If we like what we do in our life—how we spend our time, we end up looking for a mate that matches those interest. We end up looking for ourselves.
Shot April 20, 2011 at Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, AZ. Underling the editing in this vignette is a loose narrative animating the final mission of a phantom fleet and its brooding flight commander. Terry was an excellent guide. For four hours we wandered through the rows of creaking metal hulks, finding the beauty she knows well in this strange place.
Spomenik by Jan Kempenaers:

Some photography I wish I’d done: 25 Abandoned Yugoslavia Monuments that look like they're from the Future. Those socialists built for permanence and created some objects with undeniable ruin value.

I’d like to wrap these into a pilgrimage tour—visiting each one by bicycle.
Ongoing list of pilgrimage ride segments. For Hire
Coastal Cooling: power generation on the California Coast
The California Aqueduct and
Romanian monuments
The Central Arizona Project
The Salton Sea Loop

3 days
18 tombs of titan II

The lethee can grow—add segments in the future—a dynamic piece—shown in segments.
The domesticated/feral dichotomy to be found, unknowingly, on BTF.
Ruin value. Structures intended or designed to become more beautiful as they disintegrate over hundreds of years—changing imperceptibly slowly as monumental works of art. Many of our concrete forms, even those built for a global war, on a long enough time line become understood simply as monuments to Industrial Civilization.
Domestication vs. the feral human
Don’t let superstition spoil your weekend. Join us at TOPEKA for a euphoric night among friends. Although probably no one will come, close invites only please.
#3271bc—btf blue
visualizer package:

hang glider

cloud lapse

the perfect man

No Turning Back

Brownlands fitness—extended version


Insects up close

Google street view

tiny submersibles

Particle accelerator animation

Hi Jordan. So we’ll introduce you to Redberry on Wednesday. Attached is the flier for Friday night. Hopefully you and some friends can make it. If you would invite Jen of The House of Jens, that would be great. I saw her at the workout first Friday but forgot to mention it.

Seeya soon.

Send resume

"Freeloading" is a healthy response to disempowerment. If you find yourself in a system that demands your labor but denies you participation in power, the right thing to do is to "game the system", to follow the letter of the law while taking more than you give until that system collapses in a heap and you can replace it with something alive. This is the main thing I learned in 18 years of schooling. The problem is that gaming the system becomes a habit, and this habit carries over into situations where we do have participation in power. This is why people remain selfish in communities with consensus decision making, and it's why we become depressed when we live without a job. It takes years to learn to trust other people and find the life inside us.
The task before us is to help as many people as possible through this transition.
High resolution version of vizualizer killer—projected over dancefloor

Presented in numerical volumes.

Exercise cover image stretch with plant.

Also—other sites to exercise, pull up bars by the dam

yeah people like something to look at when they need a break from looking at each other.
Burn copies of the visualizer killer with mp3 of mix.
Switch over accounts on pay-pall and music downloads
You’ve got this rigid idea of whom you’d like yourself to be—with high standards. It’s become too much pressure to maintain. Don’t compartmentalize your relationships. Don’t hyper structure them. Let your walls down. Be vulnerable. Allow yourself to become why you are—you’ve got good instincts and solid direction—and allow yourself some leeway. Ann says your work takes as much or more out of you as a full time job. The choking feeling—the invisible hands around your neck

Forced enthusiasm. Part of the American’s propensity for lying to ourselves. Greetings aren’t genuine—both parties are pushing the ‘likeability’ quotient—and really completely missing the introduction—little regard as to whether the person has any qualities they desire—whether they have anything to offer. You know the American—there’re the one overenthusiastically reacting to what someone is telling them, whether they care or not. You’re considered “cold” if you don’t.

The set ends—the final tune is perfectly timed—embraces, departures, elation, euphoria. You hug Jenn and thank her for coming. She says she likes your music style.

Things end with Ann. Very adult. Admitting there’s not a lot holding the relationship together besides physical attraction. Her insights and honesty are welcome and you’re up all night with things to think about.

The Man in the window—7:00AM—snuggles the big black and white cat.
7 Towns Where Land is Free
“Dude check on my Megan’s law profile!”

amendment: Didn’t get this grant. In fact, I wasn’t even among the top three.
Hi Ran. I’ve got a couple new vignettes up on The Illuminated Thread site that I think you might be into. The first relates to Paula’s post on Civilization being a dip into the underworld. It’s called Lethe—incidentally (and coincidentally) named for one of the five rivers of the underworld in Greek mythology. The piece follows an imaginary river course—contained by concrete at every turn—sections of industrial waterways shot in California and Arizona.
The second—Brownlands Late Spring—is the newest (at the top of the page) and has some nice images of hares playing on and plants busting through a massive concrete slab in the town where I grew up. A Hunts cannery once stood here.
Have a look if you will. As usual, they’ll play more smoothly if allowed to load completely first.
The Asphodel Meadows is a section of the Ancient Greek underworld where indifferent and ordinary souls were sent to live after death. Americans!

Inquiry and dialogue are encouraged.

Removed from site: May 19, 2011

Welcome to the Deindustrial Revolution
We are at a historic inflection point—the ending of decades of expansion and the beginning of an inevitable period of contraction that will continue until humanity is once again living within the limits of Earth’s regenerative systems.--Richard HeinbergOn 18 February 1979, frozen atmospheric water vapor fell from the sky over southern Algeria. The freak weather event, lasting only thirty minutes, brought the Sahara’s only snowfall in recorded history. In June of the same year, a blowout at an exploratory oil well leaked 600,000 tons of crude into the tepid waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico: more than any other unintentional spill to date. But while snow was falling in the world’s largest desert, and thousands of endangered sea turtles were being airlifted out of the path of an oncoming oil slick, a pivotal event in human history was occurring unnoticed in the background.Sociologists commonly look at per capita energy use to gauge how far a culture has progressed along its evolutionary trajectory. Economists refer to the same statistic as a measure of economic development. What the ratio provides on a planetary scale, global energy use divided by the earth’s population, is an annual report on the progress of industrial civilization. After increasing exponentially for some sixty years, global per capita oil production (synonymous with energy use) reached an historic peak in 1979. Healthy population growth then sent the figure across a bumpy plateau to the present. The inability to drive oil production beyond current levels will soon find it arcing steeply downward, ushering in the final chapters of humanity’s industrial phase. The long view will reveal the industrial age to be a non-repeating bell curve with those aforementioned desert snows dusting its lofty summit.As we lose our ability to increase energy inputs into the global economy, the growth that’s characterized the previous two centuries will sputter out and an extended period of contraction will set in. Localism will gradually replace globalism and the scale of nearly all human enterprises will diminish. We are entering the age of limits: the age of numbers getting smaller.If such a bleak prognosis for industrial civilization sounds rash, it’s because we grew up during a century that produced what one author described as “majestic quantum leaps in the quality of life.” There was no reason to believe that this trend wouldn’t continue indefinitely since it appeared to be supported by “wondrous advances in the storehouse of human knowledge.” In reality, the industrial world wasn’t built with knowledge, but with phenomenal amounts of fossil energy. Since the lifestyles we’ve come to treat as normal are entirely a product of our prodigious use of the earth’s onetime allotment of hydrocarbons, the waning of those resources has tremendous implications. While it’s easy to find poetic resonance in peak worldwide per capita oil production occurring the same year as a massive oil spill, tying in Saharan snowfall is another matter. I like thinking of the singular event as a subtle herald of monumental change. Of course the desert dwellers who felt the icy chill of those unlikely flakes couldn’t have known that a slow disintegration was about to supplant two hundred years of exuberant progress. Still, it’s a potent image with which to mark the onset of industrial civilization’s long winter.

Because advertising seeks to deliver its message to as wide a demographic as possible, the viewing of its content has a homogenizing effect antithetical to a healthy culture. Additionally, by encouraging endless consumption in the face of obvious resource limitations, it retards the move toward a much-needed freedom from want.

Upside down bell curve- a dip into the underworld-- the Lethe text

Post closing statement?—against the economic flow. Doing things over here at BTF
The industrial age is often described as a rise and subsequent fall, but it can also be described as an inverse bell curve—a dip into the underworld and subsequent assent or resurrection. A return to life after passing through a landscape of darkness and suffering. Lethe is the industrial river—the
Anti-life, literally dips underground, flows through pumps, mountains and under freeways—the siphon. Structures that are anti—life.
bonus: Here’s a raw audio recording of an industrial cascade along the Los Gatos Creek. The uncomfortable sounding auditory oscillation seems related to the uniformity of the concrete form and the unvarying pace of the water flowing over it.
Norrköping, Sweden

Beautiful designer white leather chair and ottoman set
Contemporary design

Very comfortable

High-polished steel and soft leather

Unbelievably well made—very heavy

Come have a look! (and bring your pickup)
Price negotiable
Social Services


Case#: 1b2dg95
Undiscovered Country Bike Tours,

I’d writing to ask if you might need a bicycle-touring guide to join your team. I’ve spent over 135 days on the road during the last several years, some legs as a solo and the rest with a partner. I’ve done Chicago to San Francisco via Portland, the length of California three times, and San Diego to Tucson, AZ (including a loop around the Salton Sea). I spent seven months working in a hostel and get along well with an exceptionally wide range of personality types. I’m an adaptable fast learner with good intuition. I’m mechanically adept and competent with most on-the-road bicycle related repairs. Having long ago given up on the automobile, the bicycle has been my primary means of transportation for the past six years. I have a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago and can write and communicate well. I was made for bicycle touring and find no other activity as satisfying. I’ve recently moved to the South Bay area but having grown up in Davis, CA, have good knowledge of the state’s geography. Much of my touring is documented here:
The project is a bicycle-mounted research endeavor committed to documenting the contraction phase of the industrial age. Please have a look around—there’s an extensive archive. All the content is my own.
If you think you might have a use for my skills, I’d love to meet. My summer availability is wide open.
Thanks for your time,

Brett Tracy


Write your talk

Magazines and other organizations

The 100th vignette

College of digital arts east bay/academy of art university
Parke & Ronen suit.
The False prophet—or “the man who wanted to live forever as a machine.

Space is determined to be too much of a problem because the amount of metal needed to be sent into the cosmos. And the complex program to do it cannot be maintained in the chaos tha’s only been increasing.The singularity comes to pass. Wealthy humans begin uploading their consciousness into a huge online database. —it’s a rushed job because they see the end of a healthy planet closing in on them—and fear being overrun by a runaway human population increasingly desperate for a dwindling share or resources. Nanotechnology is accelerated and devices that scan the neural electrical activity occurring in mapped brain regions. The regions are given best guesses as to what emotions they control or memories they keep. Over several years people who can afford the deices have their brains “scanned” and added to the growing database—effectively cloud computing—all knowing of what’s going ion inside it by all parts at the same time – ALMOST A COLLECTIVE CONCIOUSNESS. Maybe godlike. Meanwhile a temple is constructed to house the computer that will run the program—designed to run for eternity. A large server is built. Nuclear power source—the sun? —built to last, and housed in a bunker in a stable place. Programmed to protect itself. The Device maintains itself—replacing its own parts—recycling metals as needed. The select have their brains scanned brain or program a machine to self perpetuate and then effectively handing their souls/lives over to a machine and the engineers that designed and built it—a godlike body—a vessel, the crown jewel of the industrial age. The backup systems add layer upon layer of complexity so that materials may be brought from other lands to an automated work site—automating a large part of the industrial process. All this is set up with military protection. The program might resemble second life, and does begin expanding as the designers intended it to. A simulation—people flying about, orgies. (but its limited by what was being experienced by the people whae it uploaded, the. Overwhelmingly what is “built” in this virtual environment represents a kind of hell—a meaningless purgatory. But the computer hums on—a slow drip of energy—keeping the circuits alive. The centuries pass. The human population begins to stabilize. The industrial age gives way to scarcity industrialism then the age of salvage. Disease and famine, high infant mortality and some conflict are the main drivers of the population fall. High technology fades as the energy needed to maintain it withers and the industrial base crumbles. Monks. But the temple hums away. The program clamors on. The bunker is largely forgotten about as life shifts back to an awareness of the land—primarily agricultural, pastoral lifestyles—an ecological awareness. Tribal behavior, myth and spirituality. The opening shot take place 400 years in the future—when some supply line begins to wake up and move.

The gentler version:

The internet repository—only the power to keep so much data alive—about the selection process. Having your work entered—to be perpetuated, to ride out the decline and see the renaissance on the opposite side.

The ipad is the first device since the automobile and the leaf blower I’d actually have the guts to shame people for buying.

I wonder

Sameer Tolani

Bee Knees

@ Good Karma Vegan Cafe

37 S 1st St in downtown San Jose

Thursday June 16th

kept yourself mostly out of the depression associated with having lots of unstructured time. Energy focused on artistic practice, persistent exercise, and dancing. Friends with a sense of humor help. Coferee Helps. But mostly it’s having a sense of purpose.

Your world is so fragile—so brittle and paper thin.
Toro Y Moi - Still Sound (Voodoo Bear Remix)

He just told her I was home doing the opposite of what he’s about to do. Buy a suit.

Don’t know about all this


Background checking

Bank Account into

Too much information

Feels like a scam

A fall and a redemption. A reemergence from the underworld.
The Man who never missed

Steve Perry

—p120. The microthin plastic felt like cobwebs on his skin, and Khadaji quickly cleared his mouth and nostrils so it wouldn’t be sucked in as he breathed. The thinfilm sheet had already conformed to his body to form a water-repellant layer. It had a half-life of ten minutes before it would begin to die, but it would keep him dry long enough to reach the terminal. In twenty minutes, the material would be completely gone, evaporated harmlessly into the air.

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